Tyndall Elementary School is changing the old to welcome in the new. Principal Susan Ross is expecting nearly a hundred new students this school year.
According to Tyndall Air Force Base officials, a fighter squadron with more than 800 active duty and reserve members and their families is relocating to Bay County from New Mexico next spring. They'll need a place to live and their children, a place to learn.
"We have been collaborating with the school liaison officer on Tyndall Air Force Base, and she's provided us with numbers as well as birth date years. Looking at what she's provided, we're looking at the possibility of 90 new students," said Ross.
Ross is planning to hire at least two new teachers to accommodate the additional students. She is also working with Bay District School officials to remodel three teacher planning room.
"We are physically removing walls in three of our planning rooms."
The rooms will be opened up to look like neighboring classrooms. They will also be outfitted with the latest technology, including Smart Boards and projectors.
These renovations aren't out of the ordinary, though. The school is used to growing and changing as close as it is to a major military base.
"I'm definitely becoming accustomed to the military lifestyle, with all of the transitioning and the influx. . . . I think that's the biggest thing we can do is to ensure a smooth transition for them because they have so much going on in their lives. We can provide some stability in their lives, at least in that realm."
Bay District Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt is expecting a total of about 400 additional students to attend a Bay Districts School next year, but he's unsure which schools they will attend.